FRINGE 2013 – Gallic Symbol – Marcel Lucont – Tuxedo Cat – 4K


Vincent Coleman


The French have a long held a reputation for decadence and disdain in equal parts. Deserved or not, Marcel Lucont is more than deserving of said reputation, and a lot more. Somewhere between Serge Gainsbourg and Bernard Black, the UK’s favourite English-loathing French comedian is a sweaty mess of charm, misogyny, wit, and arrogance, served with panache that much like fine french cuisine, errs a little of the side of too rich for some, but delectably wicked for many.

It was a particularly sweaty night at the Tuxedo Cat, and Monsieur Lucont wasn’t the only one feeling the heat, the audience visibly dripping in the sweltering humidity, the aforementioned Franc making some a poignant note between visibly unpleasant sips of an unsuitable dry red that “your room temperature is not our room temperature…”. The theatre itself was an eclectic space, recycled old-fashioned cinema seating lined up in a driftwood build room, cleared we were promised, of at least most of the possums – Tuxedo Cat, an exciting venue you always will be.

Introduced through grainy short-film, Marcel entered the stage with a song and dance act, “because I’m better than you”, a mere taste of what was to follow. Jokes about the madness of Australian weather, digs taken at the American in the audience, some classic routine about the effects of alcohol on his feeling towards women’s personal space, followed by lewd entries from a childhood and more song and dance and a bawdy series of “English” impression; it was a rapidly paced cavalcade of tones and images which came across at times as confusing. What one person would find offensive in one part another would find hilarious, only to have the next part of the act seemingly tamed for those formerly offended only to bore the more boisterous humours in the audience.

Marcel Lucont is at times a master of his craft, just not all of the time alas. If anything, Gallic Member could be stretched out into a musical act, a stand-up act, and a series of webisodes and would hold together quite well. The songs felt cobbled together out of French clichés that existed only to the sell the CD and books Lucont was hawking after the show, but hey, I’m not going to hold that against an artist without shoes.

Comedians really need to be aware of the effect that youtube is having on the freshness of their acts, which often feel more “routine” than ever. Fortunately Lucont’s wit is sharp as a tack, and witnessing him both shamelessly flirt with and emotionally crush those in the audience who dare chance a heckle was a joy to behold. With such quick and clever delivery, and such tacky and tactless musical numbers, all I could think as I left was that I wanted more and less all at once. More Marcel, less product, more wit, less sleaze. A little more to drink would have been nice too while we’re at it. I would love to see Marcel in front of a larger audience where an antagonistic audience could really give Monsieur Lucont would have something to really sink his teeth into and play with.

Marcel Lucont has another act inside the Garden itself, Marcel Lucont’s Cabaret Fantastique, a cabaret act promising both magic and tits – one of his favourite subjects – in a setting that would undoubtedly show off his talents in a suitably more colourful light.

Too much? Not enough? I was left wanting more or something, and tired of the other, but isn’t that how everyone feels after a boozy night with a lecherous Frenchman? I’ll more than likely be seeing his Cabaret Fantastique, with a sneaky bottle of red to get into the mood proper while I’m at it. I can’t help but feel that he would approve.

Kryztoff rating: 4K

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